Idaho school boards: Proposition 1 preserves local control

Despite fears to the contrary, Idaho's new collective-bargaining law is running smoothly, and should stay on the books, according to the Idaho School Boards Association.

Here's an excerpt of a guest opinion submitted today by the ISBA:

"School board members have, and always will, value their teachers. The changes in the education reform law affected by Proposition 1 have restored those local school board responsibilities back where they belong.

"Idaho school boards are better because of these education reform laws, and we can’t imagine going backwards. Help us do our job effectively."

The collective bargaining law, one of the three Students Come First education laws, will appear as Proposition 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Here is a link to the school boards' guest opinion, submitted by ISBA executive director Karen Echeverria.

Get Twitter updates on my blog and column and Statesman editorials. Become a follower. You can also get updates on Facebook's Idaho Statesman Opinion Page.


ISBA is a sounding board for Luna under the guise of an unbiased "association." Essentially, it is a lobbying group for Prop 1, 2, 3; any other Republican ideas that harm public education and transfer millions to the for-profit corporations.


Or they are the group of School Boards that WANT to get rid of tenure so they can discharge a bad teacher- without extensive legal costs.

more like

being unable to provide competent supervision and documentation of "bad" performance. It is easier to fire on whim or feel than show through the most fundamental of human resource documentation a failure to adhere to established standards.


So you are saying there is incompetent supervision.

A teacher's supervisor is generally a principal or another teacher, such as a department head.

And you are saying they are incompetent in their "supervision".

in notable ways

supervision includes leadership, communication, and establishing

rapport. Favoritism, selective enforcement of standards, undue delay in addressing abhorrent behavior, failing to document same, and attempting constructive discharges that are dropped on staff without notice may be called a number of things. Incompetent could be one. But, I admit that begs the question of whether the supervisors are unable, or unwilling, to utilize better supervision techniques.


So such "supervisors" should be fired or counseled in better methods. After much counseling if they still do things as you claim, then they should be fired. But under current rules, a Principal or a Super. can't do that. Not without a legal fight in 99% of the cases. Because the union puts up the money and the guns to do so. "oh we protect you".

sounds a bit two-sided

Thank you for agreeing that such "supervision" is unacceptable. As to you assertion about legal fights, I believe if you were to actually review some of those legal battles, you would find the battles center around violations of the contract...including the provision of due process. When boards fail to supervise the supervisors teachers could raise the issue to the court.....if....that behavior was agreed to in the contract. Not all boards have expressed problems releasing teachers. I'm suggesting it is how the boards use, or fail to use their existing authority and leadership that is the true difference maker here. Legislating unilateral
authority does not improve the skills or leadership of struggling boards. Inversely, unilateral power encourages no change in behavior and may in actuality foster more egregious behavior.


So now you are saying the boards are the incompetent ones?
And "competence" has to be 'agreed to in the contract'?

When do you get to the incompetent teachers?

as early as the beginning

as in the hiring process, during the first year of teaching when a combination of peer mentoring (required by law for teachers on first year contracts) and supervision by department heads/principals measures the teachers' skills and job knowledge. Struggling teachers are often offered improvement plans. Successful completion leads to productive teacher; failing the plan demonstrates that the teacher is not yet ready for the classroom and may provide the basis for release. Integrity in the process and consistency in it's application develops an environment in which everyone understands the expectations and consequences without having to resort to vilify or humiliate folks attempting to make a difference in a noble profession.

The ISBA is a political arm

The ISBA is a political arm of the Idaho Republican Party that blatantly ignores the wishes of some its biggest members.

It's good to be the king...

Were I provided unilateral authority without checks and balances, I'd say things were great as well. There has never been a requirement for contract negotiations to be behind closed doors. I attended one of the new open negotiations. The board negotiator started that it was the "intent" of the board to simply move existing contract language into board policy. Over the next three months key policies on grievance, evaluations, reductions in force and problem solving were rewritten back to language used decades before. There were several administrators that testified against the proposition one at the germane committee hearings. They collaboratively negotiated with teachers toward common goals. Paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, two of the most dangerous things in all the world are sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Read, learn, understand...and vote no.